Philosophy As Metanoetics

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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Sep 16, 2016 - Buddhist philosophy - 512 pages

Trans. by James Heisig, et. al., revised with a new biographical essay by Takeshi Morisato.

Written in the closing months of World War II, Philosophy as Metanoetics seeks to respond to the failure of Japan''s philosophical tradition to face up to the political and cultural realities that had landed the country in the war. It calls for nothing less than a complete and radical rethinking of the philosophical task itself. To perform this "absolute critique" of philosophy, while at the same time protecting it from the specter of nihilism, the author embraces what he calls metanoetics: a letting-go of the self''s own power so that it can be transformed by the power of absolute nothingness. This is a powerful, original work, showing vast erudition in areas of both Eastern and Western thought.

(c) Chisokudo Publications 2016 | Also available as an Apple iBook and as a Kindle eBook

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About the author (2016)

Born and raised in Tokyo, Tanabe Hajme shifted his college training at Tokyo University to philosophy, after an initial interest in mathematics and science. As he progressed in the field, he became keenly interested in the work of Nishida Kitaro, who brought him to Kyoto University in 1919 to teach; Tanabe's early works reflect their close association. From 1922 to 1924, Tanabe studied in Germany, primarily under Alois Reihl and Edmund Husserl, and upon returning to Kyoto, he worked in earnest to develop his own philosophical theory. Although he was an important figure in establishing the Kyoto School, his philosophy increasingly diverged from Nishida's. Influenced by Hegel's (see also Vol. 3) work, Tanabe formulated his own "absolute dialectic" in Elements of Philosophy (1933). In opposition to Nishida's viewpoint, Tanabe next focused on what he called the "logic of species," a system that attempts to privilege neither the universal nor the individual, but rather to see both as polar mediations within a single state. In his later thought, developed during and shortly after World War II, Tanabe turned to the analysis of the limitations and dangers of modern rationalism. Philosophy's true role, he argued, was to be metanoetiometanoetio---to use reasoning as a tool to criticize itself and its inherent tendencies to substantialize, overstructure, and control---all from the standpoint of a reified ego.This marked a shift in the content of his logic and a return to religious philosophy.

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